Thursday, September 27, 2012

Nighttime Eating, and Chromium

My goals for today as I stated before are to get my carbs down to about 100g, keep my protein up closer to 80-100g, and watch the quality of my fat. I am having a 'home' day due to some repair people who will be here most of the day, so my exercise will just be biking in the evening.

I am still dealing with the phenomenon of wanting to eat and eat every night after I get my daughter to bed. It's a bad habit that began way back before she was born, with my other kids. I used to buy something like ice cream, cookies, chips etc and hide it in the back of the freezer or cabinet so that when I got the kids to bed I could sit on the couch and watch TV and eat undisturbed. I never would binge in front of my children (or anybody else), so I'd wait for them to be asleep and then munch away at 9 or 10 or 11pm. And then I'd go to bed propped up with pillows so that I wouldn't wake up choking on my acid reflux in the middle of the night. It sucked.

I broke the habit when I started losing weight and blogging. I made a rule not to eat after dinner unless I was truly hungry, and then I could have a small protein snack like a few almonds or a string cheese or some plain, hot tea. I stopped the nighttime eating altogether until I started Medifast, when you're supposed to eat every 2-3 hours. That meant I had a mini-"meal" around 8 or 9pm each night. That was great for keeping blood sugar steady, but also meant I tend to get mentally "hungry" for something to snack on at night now, just from routine. And sad to say, after Medifast I let my evening snacks get bigger and bigger until they were derailing my weight loss efforts. Even now, I can go all day eating healthy and staying within my calories and carbs but then after I get the kids settled for the night, my mind tells me "great! Now what can we snack on while we relax?"

This is a habit I am working to break again. I am back to the "only if I am truly hungry" state. I brush and floss after dinner. If I really feel I need something before bedtime, I limit it to 100 calories or less and focus on protein. But my brain still has a tantrum for a big bowl of popcorn sometimes.

Something else I am considering is adding Chromium Picolinate to my supplement regimen. I take fish oil, vitamin D3, turmeric, glucosamine and chondroitin already. The chromium is supposed to help regulate blood sugar levels, cravings, and hunger and help with insulin resistance but I am doing some more reading before I decide. Do any of you take it or have any thoughts on chromium?

I hope the scale gives me at least a little bit of a loss this Sunday, but if not, I will keep tracking calories, exercising, and slowly lowering carbs until I see some results.


Anonymous said...

Hey! You were thinking about insulin resistance the other day so I thought you might be interested to know that glucosamine may have an effect on your glucose metabolism. Glucosamine may cause decreased insulin sensitivity and/or increased fasting glucose. If you want to read more about glucosamine and insulin resistance, just go to PubMed and search articles with the above mentioned words.

I really like your blog, you're so honest and somehow sincere that it's always a pleasure to read your posts. Keep up the great work!

Best regards from Finland,

Lyn said...


thank you! I had no idea about the glucosamine. I am going to look that up right now!

Margaret said...

I broke that habit by sending myself to bed after the kids are tucked in - no more night TV "relaxing".

It worked because I'm not a morning snacker, and finally got enough sleep to lower cortisol levels.

beerab said...

Good idea- I have to start brushing my teeth after dinner as well.

You got this! :)

Taryl said...

I wouldn't take glucosamine, but I do take l-tyrosine, l-carnitine, inositol, and chromium for blood sugar support. I find it helps and I have more energy, if nothing else. I notice when I don't take that and my other supplements - dragging all day, wanton a nap, craving carbs, always cold, etc.

Definitely do your research on the supplements, there are positives and negatives to all of them. One that might help with one problem (like taking glucosamine for arthritis) can exacerbate another (like raising blood sugar), so you just have to weigh your options and pick a cocktail that works for you (and adjust as needed!).

Anonymous said...

I have taken chromium on and off over the years and it does make a difference in decreasing my desire for sugar-filled snacks. I have felt a difference when taking it, I feel sane and in control and goodness knows we can all use a little more sanity and control in our lives. :-)

spunkysuzi said...

I actually take chromium and it has indeed helped with my cravings. I'm satisfied and able to eat healthy without going crazy!
I've no idea if this is the only thing that's helping but combining this with eating a lot less processed foods is working right now.

maryland said...

tv and snacking: a match made in hell.
I am most successful with weightloss when I can head to bed with a book. Walking away from the tv is the hard part; I feel silly; I'm not ready for bed. Ten minutes later I'm glad to be there (and slightly smug; not afraid of tomorrow's weight-in.)

Lyn said...

re: going to bed early~

If I go to bed before 10 I have a super hard time falling asleep... almost impossible. And then the dogs wake me up at 5am because they have to go out sooner! Working on getting a doggie door so they can potty when needed.

I think for now what helps me most is doing a project in the evening that is not compatible with eating, like dog training or working on photo albums. Not Tv!

Anonymous said...

Tumeric is used by some to increase appetite

Lyn said...


I take it for my arthritis.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn:

Long time reader. I think this may be the second time I have ever commented on your blog.

I'm on the way down the scale again, right now. I'm feeling good and the reason- high protein, low carbs. I can't believe what a difference this has made in how I function. I'm beginning to think I may have been/may be insulin resistant, too. I'd have a bowl of pasta at dinner and then make my way to the couch, hobbled by the food and bloated out to hheeeerrrreee.....

The night time snacking is still ...there. The desire. Gosh, getting everyone off to bed and having my ice cream or chips, was like having a friend. I loved it and then of course, felt horrible (mentally and physically) afterward.

I still miss it though, like the cigarettes I gave up 20 years ago. I just wanted to let you know, I get it.

Good luck with your Sunday weigh in. I know you will be moving in the right direction!


DiZneDiVa said...

I take Lexapro which helps alot with my Night Eating Syndrome and my binge eating. As a bonus it has also helped with my depression, my anxiety and my food cravings.